It may come as a surprise to many that St Andrews contains a food bank, and perhaps as an even greater surprise that there are those in St Andrews who need one.
Between the various stereotypes of affluent students, rich, partying golfers and tourists with plenty of spare cash, it’s easy to overlook those in our community who are struggling to the extent that they can’t even afford food to eat. Yet, as our InFocus interview today shows, they most certainly exist – and we can help.
The Storehouse food bank, operating out of the Vineyard centre on Largo Road, deserves our praise and our support for the work they do. As well as working with local charities such as Families First and supporting Fife Council’s homelessness service, Storehouse also help those whose needs may not so obviously come to mind, such as women who are forced to flee domestic abuse.
Imagine suddenly leaving your home one day and not being able to take any belongings with you: no clothes, no money, no food. Having a safe place to stay and a few days of food to eat would make a world of difference.
Unfortunately, this type of support is also increasingly needed by those who could previously get by. As the cost of living increases throughout the country the problem is becoming particularly acute in St Andrews, where prices are already high. The inflated rental market, costly supermarkets and expensive public transport all help to price out those who would once have earned enough.
Thankfully, there are easy ways to help. Instead of throwing away your leftover food, unopened toiletries and unused cleaning products at the end of the semester, crate them up and donate them. Add a single extra item to your shopping list every week. Check the website at storehousenefife.org.uk to find out what items are in low stock.
The close community in St Andrews is one of our greatest assets. We have already seen how it contributes to the lowest university drop out rates in Scotland. Now let’s make sure we don’t allow those we share our town with to drop out, either.